Fort Worth, incorporated in 1873, adopted a council-manager form of government when it received its charter from the Texas Legislature in 1924.
In council-manager systems – the most popular form of government in the United States today – a city council appoints a city manager to administer and coordinate municipal operations and programs. In Fort Worth, the council also appoints the city secretary, city attorney, city auditor, municipal court judges, and residents who serve on city boards and commissions.
About the City Council
Councilmembers are elected from the district in which they reside, with the exception of the mayor who is elected at large. The mayor is the official head of the city’s government and represents Fort Worth on ceremonial occasions. The mayor is a voting member of the city council, presides over council meetings and represents the council to the public. The mayor may respond to resident concerns by appointing special committees to address particular issues. Councilmembers and the mayor are elected for two years terms, after which they must step down or run for re-election. In the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tem presides over council meetings.
Duties of the council also include setting the tax rate, approving the budget, planning for capital improvements, adopting all city ordinances, selecting residents to serve on boards and commissions, and approving major land transactions, purchases and contracts. It takes six members to constitute a quorum.